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Neuroscience Basics

Bridging biochemical, structural, and behavioral sciences to understand people

by TAF Senior Intern Liz Chamiec-Case

The brain is just another organ, but how crazy is it that the part of our bodies and the part of science that we know the least about is the same part that controls everything we think, say, feel, and do? Because we know so little about the brain and how it works, it is not uncommon to have a dualistic view of ourselves: on the one hand we understand that the brain sits up there in the skull, helps coordinate the body’s functions, store memories, and regulates how we think and feel; while on the other hand, when we introspect “where am ‘I’?” we picture an out-of-body ethereal and separate existence. Again, the brain is just another organ – if there is anything abnormal about our memories, feelings, or behaviors, it is the result of abnormal brain chemistry or structure. In this section, we will explore some of the basic brain structures and functions, the nervous system, neurotransmitters and biochemistry, and briefly discuss emotions. It is our hope that a small amount of understanding will empower you to see that the brain is not so mystical, but rather just another organ that we need to take care of.

The Brain - Structure and Function

The Brain - The Nervous System

The Brain - Biochemistry

Emotions

Behavior

Works Cited